David J. Farber is Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, holding secondary appointments in the Heinz College and the Engineering Public Policy Group.
In 2003, retired as the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Telecommunication Systems at the University of Pennsylvania where he he held appointments as Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School of Business and as a Faculty Associate of the Annenberg School of Communications.
In January 17, 2000, he was appointed to be Chief Technologist at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission while on leave from UPenn for one year ending in early June 2001. While at UPenn, he co-directed The Penn Initiative on Markets, Technology and Policy. He was also Director of the Distributed Systems Laboratory – DSL where he managed leading edge research in Ultra High Speed Networking. Research papers of the DSL are available in its electronic library.
His early academic research work was focused at creating the worlds first operational Distributed Computer System (DCS) while at the ICS Department at the University of California at Irvine. After that, while with the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Delaware, he helped conceive and organize CSNet, NSFNet and the NREN.
He graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1956 and then started an 11-year career at Bell Laboratories where he helped design the first electronic switching system, the ESS, as well as co-designer of the programming language SNOBOL. He then went west to The Rand Corporation and to Scientific Data Systems prior to joining academia. At both Bell Labs and Rand, he had the privilege, at a young age, of working with and learning from giants in our field.
In 1999, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology, where he also serves as a Trustee of the Institute.
Prior to his appointment to the FCC, he served on the U.S. Presidential Advisory Board on Information Technology, and currently is a Member of the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council. He was recently appointed to the Advisory Council or the CISE Directorate of the National Science Foundation.
Farber is a Trustee of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He is a Visiting Professor of the Center for Global Communications of Japan (Glocom) of the International University of Japan, a Member of the Advisory Board at the National Institute of Informatics of Japan, and a Member of the Advisory Boards of both the Center for Democracy and Technology and EPIC.
He is a Fellow of both the ACM and the IEEE and was the recipient of the 1995 ACM Sigcomm Award for life long contributions to the computer communications field. He was awarded in 1997 the prestigious John Scott Award for Contributions to Humanity.
He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society as well as having serving 10 years on the National Research Council’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board.
Farber was named in the 1997 edition of the UPSIDE’s Elite 100, as one of the Visionaries of the field, and was named in the 1999 Network World as one of the 25 most powerful people in Networking. In 2002 he was named by Business Week as one of the top 25 leaders in E-Commerce. His industrial experiences are extensive, just as he entered the academic world; he co-founded Caine, Farber & Gordon Inc. (CFG Inc.), which became one of the leading suppliers of software design methodology. His consulting activities include Intel and the RAND Corp., among others. He is also on a number of industrial advisory and management boards, including NTT DoCoMo, Boingo, Rainmaker and E-tenna.